Hi, everyone. I recently did an Olympic tri (two weeks ago) and have my eyes on a couple of half-IMs that range from 10-14 weeks out. I'd like to do one of them, but only if training for one is reasonable. I'm 53 years old, male and have done a handful of sprint and Olympic tris (my background is mostly in running: two marathons and eight half marathons). Between tri training and marathon training, I'm accustomed to training 6-10 hours per week and have time for a little more. I'm assuming that my training for the Olympic tri got me partway towards the training for an half IM. Or am I wrong about that? I had been following Matt Fitzgerald's Olympic tri program (level 3), so I guess I'm wondering whether I need to start from week one of a half IM program or if there's some kind of bridge program that others out there have followed.
I'm not looking to compete, but I do want to enjoy the experience.
Based on my single 70.3 I'd say you'll be fine if you can do an Olympic comfortably. Keep up the training, but if you're able to do marathons you'll be fine on race day. The biggest difference here is the swim. It's not much longer (2000 meters vs 1500) compared to the bike and run legs which double. My approach was to get to where I could complete the swim and cruise the bike and run. Now I have a full collection of 70.3 items to show I did it.
I'm not familiar with the program you mentioned. I didn't use one for my race, I just kept doing endurance work on all 3 parts until I had the distances down which seemed to work fine.
One final note is that it was only 4 weeks between my Olympic and 70.3 so 12 weeks would have been a lot nicer!
Good luck with the race!
From what I've seen a typical 70.3 training plan is about 4-5 months. I agree with Andy, that if you just completed an oly distance you can count that toward your training. If your comfortable with the training plan you've been using, I would look to see if he has a HIM plan that you could get started with and just start at whatever week would line up so your last week of training on the plan is race week. I had a similar background to yours when I did my first HIM. It was a challenging course and I hadn't trained much on the bike at that distance but was comfortable with the swim and the run distance. By the time I got to the run, I was tired but was able to walk / run, still enjoy the race and finish with the decent time. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Thanks, Julie. I had been following one of Matt Fitzgerald's plans from his book, but it's a six workouts a week plan and all of his HIM plans are nine workouts a week. I think what I need to do is see where the workouts I've done fall on his plan. His HIMs are 20 weeks.
I am fully aware that many of us, including me, tend to rush things and want to do things right away. I kind of liked the idea of doing a marathon and an HIM in the same year, but I need to decide (soon) whether that's a wise choice.
I say go for it. 20 weeks is good if you are starting from scratch. I did a 20 week program for my full IM after having taken 2 months off. I felt great on race day and finished right where I wanted and actually really enjoyed the run (which I usually hate). An Olympic tri is a great bridge. If you had just trained on the bike OR the run, then yeah it might be a challenge to continue on, but having been working all three in preparation for the Olympic, you should have a great foundation. Now you just need to increase the mileage on the bike and run. Like Andy said the swim isn't all that much longer, but of course still work on it, but the mileage increase is the biggest thing. Make sure you get some good brick workouts with some longer distances, like a 50 mile bike ride followed by a 5k or 10k run. Bricks are key. I did my first half about 6 weeks after doing my first Olympic. I was tired, but did finish in my goal time. Don't stress the timetable. Take the 20 week plan and take out the starting weeks and some of the middle weeks and make it fit your schedule. You'll be fine.
I think this depends entirely on your conditioning. Your running regimine seems adequate to do them in sequence with little recovery. My experience has been that when in shape (and when last in shape I could IM under 10 hours at age 47), on 20-25 miles of running per week, 40 miles of biking 3-4 times a week, and 2 swims a week; only a day or two of recovery was required after an olympic or 70.3. I've always found that running requires a lot of recovery, and swimming and biking require a day at most. A 70.3 and an IM are totally different events. After an IM, I have the IM walk for a couple days. After a 70.3 (not today, but in 2007), I would train hard the next day. I think this is mostly a "feel your body" thing. If you can punch out a good run workout and rest a day or two and you are ready for 70.3. If your legs are dead running, wait. My background is in cycling but I'm a decent runner, so I may have a biased persprective. My brief training adivice is for IM or 70.3is: Bike every other day (no exceptions), run days you don't bike and never two consecutive days (or I get injured). Swim 2 or 3 days a week depending on time (that means usually 2 for me and swim is my weak event). I don't believe long runs are necessary to run long races. Many marathon WR holders did it in their first marathon. In 2007 I qualifed for Boston at IM Canada without running over 13 miles all year except for IM Canada. But I don't think running less than about 13 miles at least weekly is adequate for IM training. Sorry for the long post, but feel free to contact me.